Few things are more important than having a business continuity plan in place to guide your business through unexpected events. How would you respond to a cyberattack? What would you do in the case of a flood, a fire, or, as we have experienced in the past year, a global health crisis? The goal of a business continuity plan is to determine how to continue to operate and serve customers when unforeseen challenges come your way.
One of the crucial pieces of the business continuity puzzle is your technology stack. Business simply cannot go on without tools, technology, and apps running smoothly and without interruption. This is true for employees working on internal processes and for your ability to provide services to customers. If you look at your essential processes, functions, and services, which ones are vulnerable to an IT disruption?
Building Cloud Technology into Your Business Continuity Plan
You are out of luck if you cannot use your technology. This can happen if:
- your mission-critical programs, software, and tools are on a local server or only accessible on a local computer,
- going into the office is no longer an option,
- your local server fails,
- or a cyberattack takes down your operations.
It is for these reasons (among many others!) that cloud technology has taken off. Business resiliency is a built-in benefit. It’s the ideal answer to our remote work, fast-paced, always-changing world.
Managing a Remote Workforce
Business has been evolving toward the cloud for some time. Even before the pandemic, it was possible to have a fully collaborative, rock star team working remotely 100% of the time. In fact, Swizznet is a fully remote company. Having cloud-based tools already in place allowed us to support our employees and navigate the unknowns of Covid-19. We ramped up our use of communication tools like Zoom and Slack. In addition, we were able to provide key services to our customers even without access to a central, physical location. Your business continuity plan should include steps on how you deploy technology that will empower a distributed workforce, whether by choice or an unforeseen circumstance.
Throughout the pandemic, there has been a huge surge in cyberattacks targeting everyone, from the government and healthcare companies to small businesses. Phishing attacks are the main culprit and often result in serious financial losses. Oftentimes, smaller businesses managing their own security and IT do not have access to the people and financial resources needed to defend against attacks. When working with providers of cloud tools, however, enterprise-grade technology typically inaccessible to small businesses is built. No organization wants to fall victim to the reputational and financial costs and the disruption to business resulting from an attack.
Improving Connectivity and Employee Experience
Part of maintaining business continuity is making sure that employees can collaborate and sustain their productivity without physically interacting with one another. When everything employees need is in the cloud, they have access to data, files, and essential information anytime, anywhere. Remote access to software and data should be a key part of your business continuity plan. That way, everyone can keep working without missing a beat. Though remote access is possible through VPN, security issues abound, and connectivity is often poor. Cloud services are quick and easy to access anywhere you have internet service. Employee productivity and satisfaction improves with fewer bottlenecks slowing them down.
Making cloud hosting part of your business continuity plan is a smart way to ensure access to your business and accounting software.